10 Unique Things to Do in Montreal

Like A Local Guide • 18 May, 2016

Want to escape the touristy stuff and experience Montreal like a local? Native Montrealer Sofia recommends 10 unique things to do in her delightful city.

1. Admire the architecture

San Francisco has its Painted Ladies and Montreal has its row of Victorian houses on Saint-Louis Square. This part of Plateau Mont-Royal is home to houses adorned with colourful rooftops and façades. Just search for #SaintLouisSquare on Instagram to see for yourself!

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2. Go on a coffee crawl

Montreal is known for having great coffee. Unlike your typical American filtered kind, we take great care in crafting the perfect brew. Try Pikolo Espresso Bar or Café Milano – they get it right every time. Popular spots that have recently opened include Café Tommy and September Surf Café.

ef97049af39a95cc9ad629556cfe6964Photo credit: Cafe Milano

3. Wait in Montreal’s iconic line

Head to the Kem CoBa ice cream parlour in Mile End and join the city’s coolest queue. This place even has its own Twitter account! Grab a bag of Fairmount bagels next door for breakfast the following morning.

kem_coba_montrealPhoto credit: Isabelle Phan

4. Become an expert in craft beer

Sample made-in-Quebec beers at the local Dieu du Ciel brewery! In summer, be sure to snag a seat on their outdoor terrace – it’s a great place for people watching.

58601c9e6558f8a3bfc69ad2de38b414Photo credit: Dieu du Ciel

5. Indulge in brunch

Sunday brunch is a big deal in Montreal. You’ll see locals lining up quite early to indulge in some of the city’s best bacon and eggs. There are plenty of top-notch places to try: L’AvenueFabergéLe CartetOlive et Gourmando and Lawrence, for instance.

7cc854e236dec2b22017a2ea8c57c042Photo credit: Olive et Gourmando

6. Tam-Tam it out

After brunch, make your way to the Tam-Tams at the foot of Mount Royal Park. Every Sunday you’ll find hippies, groups of friends and families enjoying the sound of the drums. Don’t be afraid to dance or bring your own tam-tam to the party.

7397063596_1481cef22c_kPhoto credit: G Morel

7. Dig for gold at vintage shops

There are a host of vintage stores on Boulevard Saint-Laurent that specialise in clothing from all eras, as well as fun knick-knacks and old-school paraphernalia. Eva B. is a local favourite.

6981007333_f4dc4da85a_bPhoto credit: Laura D’Alessandro

8. Catch a live show

Go see an unknown band or attend a Flamenco show at one of Montreal’s many cool venues, for example La Sala Rosa, Casa del Popolo or Divan Orange. You may just discover the next Arcade Fire!

52789c0fd2b6e359d1ac4416680c22daPhoto credit: Norsola Johnson

9. Seek out the local speakeasy

Want to blend in with the locals? Go on the hunt for Big in Japan, our secret speakeasy. It’s hidden behind a red door with Japanese letters on it; you won’t see a logo here. Once inside, walk through the heavy black curtains and you’ll find yourself in a candle-lit lounge with bartenders dressed in prohibition-era attire.

b79f6218ae7e1334831363e5ad987f6fPhoto credit: Pietro Di Zanno

10. Check out the street art scene

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – take the time to discover the street art on Boulevard Saint-Laurent! See a piece by a local artist you’d like to own? Head to the Station 16 street art gallery as they may just have it.

17150691989_69bd275abf_hPhoto credit: Andre Vandal

For more local recommendations read:
What locals like to do in Montreal
Where locals like to eat in Montreal
Where locals like to party in Montreal

Special tip: For a more authentic Montreal experience, get the Like A Local mobile app

Opening photo credit: T.E.A Photography

Like A Local Guide
Like A Local Guide is about stepping off the tourist trail and finding cool and cosy spots where locals like to spend their time. We built a website and mobile app to bring insider recommendations from around the world to your fingertips.

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